So as you know, Mo Willems has a contest going right now where you get to guess what the title of the next book is. Well, I’m e-mailed back and forth is an authorial friend of mine, and she tells me that she’s figured out the title. "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy". I think she’s on to something, but my vote goes to the word "Pony". I mean, that would be a great book. So, anyway, that’s my official guess. If you have one, make a cover, download the entry form at Mo’s site, and win yourself a class visit from the man himself.
Galleycat reports that what may have been the best children’s bookstore in the nation is dead. Good one, D.C.
The site Grain Edit has located a rather rare find and has posted images on its site. "As far as I know this is the only kids picture book illustrated by designer Saul Bass. Saul provides a 60s pop color backdrop for the text written by Leonore Klein. The book was published by Young Scott books in 1962." Those of you with an interest in great design should take a peek at Henri’s Walk to Paris. Thanks to Drawn! (who also turned me onto the awesome Mary Blair exhibit going on right now in San Francisco AND has a list up of Favorite Comics and Art Books of 2007).
Speaking of San Francisco, Infoblog recently had a piece up discussing a feature of the San Francisco Public Library called "Book a Librarian". "Book-a-Librarian clients make appointments to spend up to 30 minutes with a librarian. The staff member helps the library user with anything from Internet or email assistance to in-depth reference assistance in a subject area familiar to the librarian—far more than customers can gain from brief exchanges with staff at busy reference desks." Wow. Can everyone start doing this? I always feel badly when someone comes to my reference desk in the middle of a toddlerstorytime and has to ask for information on a cool project they’re working on as frantic nannies and screaming tots vie for attention. I suppose anyone could do this anyway, but if you make it official and market it correctly then this could be yet another way libraries surpass bookstores and remain important in the eyes of the public.
You know what I like about Marc Aronson? I like his commitment to non-fiction. I try to give a glimpse to non-fiction books, though a quick glimpse at my reviews this year belies my preference for made up type stuff. But Mr.Aronson is a whole hearted advocate of the world in which he writes, and that has led to two posts of his that are particularly interesting. In the first, Marc suggests a contest of sorts. Says he, ". . . how about picking the best first sentences in nonfiction for younger readers?" Tricia Stohr-Hunt may have come up with my favorite when she quoted Russell Freedman’s The Adventures of Marco Polo with, "As Marco Polo lay dying, friends and relatives gathered anxiously by his bedside and begged him to confess. They pleaded with him to tell the truth, to renounce his exaggerations and lies, so that he might meet his maker with a clear conscience." In a second post, Marc talks about how he’s going to chronicle on his blog a Work In Progress. It’s a process, and process makes for great reading. Keep watching NonFiction Matters as the weeks go by.
Recently I reviewed the book The Coyote Road, which was an entirely enjoyable series of trickster tales. That’s usually the primary way in which I hear about coyotes too. In the contest of being tricky and sly in stories and picture books. Of course, that was before I discovered The Daily Coyote. I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts backwards, but it’s a hard blog to resist, no matter how you read it.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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